The Prairie Spy
Alan “Lindy” Linda
The book: “Lies My Teacher Told Me” covers those parts of school-taught history that are not quite the truth. James W. Loewen has taken the, if not untruthful parts of history along with the parts that are out-and-outright missing, task of pointing out what we should know. And were not told.
Which turns out to be pretty much the opposite of what we were actually taught from books, some of which, he points out, are heavy enough–up to eight pounds–that grade school students risk back damage from the weight they have to carry in their backpacks. Damage to the point that chiropractors have “weighed” in on the lunacy of saddling young students with such a load.
I’m all in favor of smaller books, although truth to tell it’s too late for me. Sadly.
Among the subjects he brings more detail into: Columbus discovering America; The American Indian; the Federal Government; and Thanksgiving. (I don’t have room here to list them all.)
Columbus sailed the ocean blue, in 1492. And discovered America–remembering that there is a South America, which we often forget when the word “America” comes up. In fact, North America could well have been discovered as far as 70,000 years ago by Africans. There is substantial proof of that, although when it comes to proof, most historians say humans crossed over from Siberia to Alaska about 12,000 years ago.
The Phonicians arrived along the eastern coast of Mexico at least 750 B.C. Huge stone heads that they left behind are solid proof. So, who cares? Well, Columbus it turns out wasn’t that nice a guy, plus he has been given credit for bravely sailing off into what was thought to be a flat earth. Which had been disproved ever since man noticed that the earth’s shadow on the moon was round, and that sailing ships slowly sank into the horizon.
So that’s a myth. Also a myth is the fact that “sailors are stupid, superstitious, and scheming.” And Columbus was brave, wise, and godly. At least, that’s how most history books treat the trip he made. In fact, on his first trip, he was mostly concerned with how many natives he could kidnap and take home to the Queen. On his second trip, he pulled out all the punches and set up a tribute system, wherein every native every three months had to bring him a specific quantity of goods. Should the native not do it, his hands were cut off.
Basically, Spaniards hunted natives for sport and dog food. You won’t see that in your history books.
Then on to the pilgrims and Plymouth Rock, when the voyage was actually headed for the colonies in Virginia, where fortunes could be made in the tobacco business. How the few pilgrims on that ship convinced the captain to sail up the coast has several theories, one being the out-and-out hijacking of the vessel. Some proof for this does exist, just not in history books.
The pilgrims and their relationship to the noble American Indian is also prettied up, when the actual truth is quite harsh. We decimated the American natives, South and North, with our diseases, one being smallpox. Had we not cut down the numbers of the Indian tribes, the actual European invasion might have had different results. Here’s a quote from King James of England at that time: “We thank almighty God for sending in this plague among the savages.” In other words, they knew exactly what they were doing.
It is estimated that between 1520 and 1918, we inflicted nearly a hundred various plagues and diseases upon the Americas.
It is interesting to me that yes, we sent all this down on them, but they sent back syphilis and tobacco, which has killed many more of us.
The author spends some time lamenting the fact that when history covers the Native American, it doesn’t mention how they now have control of a majority of gambling in North America, and how that is a part of history now.
Quite a book, I’ve only touched on small parts of it. Truthfully, I’ve reached an age where I have very little faith in parts of the government, and in turn, the parts of education and information which government is involved in.